Date of release: March 27, 2019
The Arbor Day Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters has named Paducah a 2018 Tree City USA. This is the 27th consecutive year Paducah has achieved this honor recognizing the efforts by the community to make the planting and care of trees a priority.
Mayor Brandi Harless says, “Everyone benefits when a community makes smart investments in the management of urban forests. Trees provide multiple benefits when properly planted and maintained. They bring shade to our homes, beauty to our neighborhoods and commercial corridors, and a variety of economic and environmental benefits through cleaner air, improved storm water management, and energy savings.”
City Manager Jim Arndt says, “Access to trees, green spaces, and parks increases a community’s health and well-being. In addition to providing aesthetic benefits, trees are environmental machines working to produce oxygen, reduce smog, and enhance respiratory health.”
Planning Director Tammara Tracy says, “Trees are our community’s unsung heroes. As a critical element of our infrastructure network, for example, a mature shade tree can hold up to 1000 gallons of water by storing the water in its leaves, branches, and trunk.”
Paducah achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program’s four requirements: a tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita, and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation. Paducah is one of more than 3,500 Tree City USAs.
This month the Arbor Day Foundation is launching a new initiative, the Time for Trees. The goal is to plant a total of 100 million trees by 2022.
Arbor Day Foundation President Dan Lambe says, “We are losing trees at an alarming rate in our forests and our cities putting the very necessities of life at risk. We need trees to provide what we must have in order to live: clean air, clean water, and a tolerable climate. The trees will restore our forests and strengthen our communities, and the inspired tree planters will create a larger network of individuals dedicated to greening our plant. These goals are ambitious. We realize that we need to plant trees at a scale like never before.”
More information about the Tree City USA program is available at https://www.arborday.org/treecityusa.